Saturday, May 10, 2008

Buy a good rocking chair.........

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of emotion and yesterday's blog implied, I've spent a great deal of time reflecting back on our life so far.....yesterday I went through old photographs (and realized its time to invest in some photo albums) and this evening I took a bit of time to go through some of my old journals again.....this didn't start out as a journal entry; it was actually a reply to friend who wanted advise on motherhood.........


Buy a good rocking chair - you'll need it and grow to love it and miss it later! September 2006

1. Buy a rocking chair and make it part of your routine- all three of my children remember being rocked by mom and dad, either before bedtime or when they were sick. There is nothing more precious to a parent than those memories of rocking and cuddling their infant and toddler. Soon enough, you’ll find that your cuddly child will be resisting being rocked.

2. Buy a good lullaby CD or DVD about 20 minutes long...we used Disney's Lullaby’s during our nightly rocking. Our routine with all three (DD now age 22, DS 1 now aged 20; and DS 2 now aged 10) was dinner, playtime, bath time, rocking/lullaby time, a quiet read of a good children’s book, tuck in, and prayer. All three had good bedtime habits throughout childhood. DH and I switched off almost nightly on the various parts of the routine which meant that if I was out, they wouldn't be upset that Daddy was putting them to bed instead of mommy.


3. Don't change your routine too much when you bring baby home....he got used to that routine in the womb. If you pay attention during pregnancy, you can anticipate your child's periods of wakefulness and restfulness ….. It won't change too much after birth. With DD (eldest child) I had no idea and tiptoed through the days and nights, which she got turned around almost immediately; with DS 1, I was just beginning to realize this truth and he fit in almost without any disruption and by DS 2, (3rd child) I had learned it by heart; he just "fit" our life from the day he came home.


4. Keep a baby book and don't stop when they are older - their cute little phrases and words for special items WILL fade from your "teemers" for fingers and "gampee" for that special blanket..."school makes me sickable"..."is it Sunday?" "No, its Tuesday. Why?" asked their Nana. "Cuz that's a Sunday driver up there!".....

5. Look deep into your young child’s eyes when they are telling you some fabulous tale...remember that when they are teenagers, you'll be trying to look into those same eyes, now sometimes avoiding yours, and that it will not be as easy to get them to tell you their fantastic tale!

6. Watch your child while you dream your dreams for their future for them...if you do, you'll be more prepared for what their future actually brings. If you do, you'll recognize the child that "was" in the adult that is "becoming" and you'll roll with the truth of that "becoming" more easily.


Part two of number 6 - Help your child find THEIR passion and provide them the means to live it...with some children it is easy and with others more difficult - our oldest was a "jack of all trades", it all came easy to her, but she is only realizing her passion at age 22 (working with troubled children). DS 1 was very easy...he was and is a musician… is his passion and it helped him overcome ADD and go off his meds. DS #3...we're still looking!

When they leave home, IF they leave to live their passion, you have joy through the sorrow...if they are still looking, it is harder to let them fly out of the your best to help them...but don't "steer" them.

7. Have a special family phrase - it helps them through their day ....ours was "Remember who you are and where you came hard and learn lots"...the kids still comment on that it made them stop and think sometimes before they made a choice and how at other times, they simply didn't care!

8. When they are young, include activities that allow you to participate actively not just passively...with our older children we did soccer (and were the coaches) and did choir and musicals (and were the teachers/directors) ... with our youngest, we are doing Cub Scouts...Even though we are Den Leaders, we get to be hands on and right in the mix with our own child much more than in soccer and choir...if I had to do it over again, I would have done Scouts with the older two!

9. Understand that you do your best to raise them right, to mold them and train them and show them how not to make the same mistakes you did....but when they fly out from the nest, they'll most likely make those same mistakes anyway....hug them and assure them that you'll always love them and that you are always proud of them for who they are...if you've done your job, those choices ARE NOT a reflection on your is a reflection of who they are as an individual.

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